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#401 2021-11-19 07:57:26

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 4,782

Re: Nuclear power is safe

Chinese Scientists Say They’ve Discovered Cheap New Way to Do Nuclear Fusion
https://futurism.com/china-cheap-nuclear-fusion

Tyler Cowen: Nuclear fusion is close enough to start dreaming
https://pressofatlanticcity.com/opinion … bedd4.html

Thorium Instead Of Uranium: China Launches Tests Of Anaerobic Reactor
https://yourcoimbatore.com/thorium-instead-of-uranium/

MIT
https://macdailynews.com/2021/09/09/mit … ion-power/

Ultra-High Voltage Transmission (UHV) – A New Way to Move Power
https://www.tdworld.com/overhead-transm … ross-china

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#402 2021-11-19 15:35:04

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,798

Re: Nuclear power is safe

NASA seeks ideas for a nuclear reactor on the moon

The reactor would be built on Earth and then sent to the moon.

Submitted plans for the fission surface power system should include a uranium-fueled reactor core, a system to convert the nuclear power into usable energy, a thermal management system to keep the reactor cool, and a distribution system providing no less than 40 kilowatts of continuous electric power for 10 years in the lunar environment.

Some other requirements include that it be capable of turning itself off and on without human help, that it be able to operate from the deck of a lunar lander, and that it can be removed from the lander and run on a mobile system and be transported to a different lunar site for operation.

Additionally, when launched from Earth to the moon, it should fit inside a 12-foot (4-meter) diameter cylinder that's 18 feet (6 meters) long. It should not weigh more than 13,200 pounds (6,000 kilograms).

The proposal requests are for an initial system design and must be submitted by Feb. 19.

The Idaho National Laboratory has worked with NASA on various projects in the past. Most recently, the lab helped power NASA's Mars rover Perseverance with a radioisotope power system, which converts heat generated by the natural decay of plutonium-238 into electrical power.

Sounds like a KRUSTY unit, so why the need?

update
NASA Is Soliciting Plans for an Impossibly Small Lunar Nuclear Reactor

Small reactors are to large    https://usnc.com/space

NuScale, would require 15 feet in width and three to four times the required length: 65 feet for the reactor itself and 76 feet for the containment vessel. The weight limit for the moon reactor is just 13,200 pounds, or 6.6 tons—NuScale’s reactor weighs 700 tons.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/ … ar-lander/

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#403 2021-11-19 16:10:44

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,054

Re: Nuclear power is safe

For SpaceNut

About 50,500 results (0.73 seconds)
Image result for krusty reactor power output
1 kilowatt
In 2017, the KRUSTY test reactor was completed. KRUSTY is designed to produce up to 1 kilowatt of electric power and is about 6.5 feet tall (1.9 meters).

KRUSTY is 39 kilowatts short of requirements.

(th)

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#404 2021-11-19 17:16:41

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,798

Re: Nuclear power is safe

That was the test prototype which was capable of the 40kw but initially design2d for 10kw for the kilopower project. That project used highly enriched uranium (HEU), which enables an efficient and lightweight reactor. I think the issue is they need a business to make it not the DoE’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

https://spacenews.com/nasa-to-seek-prop … er-system/

That project seeks to develop a 10-kilowatt fission power system that could be placed on the moon as soon as 2027, providing power to enable long-term lunar surface activities, especially during the two-week night when solar power is not an option.

However, the use of HEU raised concerns in the nuclear nonproliferation community, who argued that it could set a precedent for the renewed production of HEU, which can also be used in nuclear weapons. Calomino said DOE is now considering the use of low enriched uranium (LEU), which does not have the nonproliferation issues but is not as mature technically as HEU approaches and would increase the mass of the reactor.

“LEU solutions have now been included in our trade space for that reactor system,” he said. That includes high-assay low enriched uranium, or HALEU, which in DOE studies can provide the same amount of power as an HEU reactor with a mass penalty of a couple hundred kilograms.

required redesign due to nuclear material type

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#405 2021-11-27 15:20:08

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 4,782

Re: Nuclear power is safe

NASA thinks US needs nuclear-powered spacecraft to stay ahead of China

https://www.space.com/us-needs-nuclear- … spacecraft

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#406 2021-11-29 11:44:23

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,054

Re: Nuclear power is safe

https://www.yahoo.com/news/dawn-nuclear … 10626.html

This is a remarkably balanced article (as it came across to me)...

Alexander C. Kaufman
Mon, November 29, 2021, 10:29 AM
<snip>
In what some in the industry hailed as a “game changer,” Finland is digging the world’s first deep repository for waste ― an isolated underground cavern about 1,500 feet below the Earth’s surface.
<snip>
Downsizing For The Future
If nuclear power does, in fact, make a comeback in the U.S., its future may rest in a frontier coal town in western Wyoming.

In tiny Kemmerer, Wyoming ― population just a little over 2,700 ― the startup TerraPower plans to replace an aging coal-fired plant with a set of its mini-reactors by 2028.

The plant could become the commercial breakthrough the next-generation nuclear industry has been awaiting. Traditional reactors are enormous, expensive and rely on expertise that has become rarer over the last decades. But the modular reactors TerraPower makes are typically about one-third the size and can be assembled in a factory and transported to the plant location. This, at least in theory, dramatically cuts down the construction costs and time.

Various companies and countries are competing to bring the first small modular reactors to market. Russia recently deployed a small reactor on a floating barge and docked in a Siberian port city, where it was used to heat and power homes, and it has announced plans to build more. China started building its first commercial small modular reactor on the southern island of Hainan this summer. The British government’s pledge to fund Rolls-Royce’s small modular reactor project turned out to be one of the most significant announcements of this month’s U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

A rendering from Rolls-Royce of one of its planned small modular reactors. (Photo: Rolls-Royce)
A rendering from Rolls-Royce of one of its planned small modular reactors. (Photo: Rolls-Royce)
TerraPower ― which billionaire Bill Gates co-founded and backed ― is charging ahead with a small modular reactor uniquely cooled with sodium, which has a higher boiling point than water and can store excess electricity for hours. It has competitors. In September, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved an application from NuScale Power, based in Portland, Oregon, to build a dozen of its scaled-down water-cooled reactors at an Energy Department facility in Idaho, which will sell power to a local utility ― the first small, modular reactor to get a greenlight from U.S. regulators. There are roughly 20 other companies working on similarly sized, or even smaller, reactors.

(th)

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#407 2021-12-04 16:05:15

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 2,225

Re: Nuclear power is safe

Russia’s Push To Mine Arctic Metals Is Fueled By Nuclear Power

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-Gene … Power.html


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#408 2021-12-04 17:07:12

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,054

Re: Nuclear power is safe

For Calliban re #407 ...

Following up on the link provided...

https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-Gene … Power.html

Russia, in other words, is beginning to prepare for a post-fossil fuel world, or at least a world that needs less of the hydrocarbons that have fuelled it for close to 200 years now. This world will replace hydrocarbons with metals and minerals. Fortunately for Russia, it has a lot of both hydrocarbons and metals and minerals. Unfortunately for those without a lot of metal and mineral resources, they might once again find themselves dependent on imports from the country that now holds their gas supply in its hands.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

The article at the link above is about more than nuclear power, but Russia's floating power plants look like a solid bet.

(th)

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#409 2021-12-06 12:52:22

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,054

Re: Nuclear power is safe

December 5, 2021

Above is the date in the top line of an email sent to an individual who may be in a position to support or encourage the idea of making fresh water for Phoenix, Arizona, using the abundant energy available from nuclear fission.

The email was composed by a citizen of Arizona who has accepted input suggestions from NewMars forum members Calliban and kbd512, and combined those with a deep understanding of the people of Arizona and their needs.

From my point of view, the message is now launched into the Universe, like a message in a bottle.  If the time is right for this idea to grow into reality, then it will find it's way to fertile soil, and receive the support it needs.

The same is true of the initiatives by GW Johnson on behalf of the Mars Lander proposal and the On Orbit Refueling proposal.

Everything that could be done to create a message was done, and it was sent to people/organizations where there might be a chance of success.

(th)

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#410 2021-12-06 14:46:57

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 6,240

Re: Nuclear power is safe

tahanson43206,

There's a conservative / Republican gubernatorial candidate for the State of Arizona, named Kari Lake, who may be amenable to using nuclear power to desalinate water for her state.

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#411 2021-12-06 17:18:33

daGeck0
Member
From: United States
Registered: 2020-11-03
Posts: 3

Re: Nuclear power is safe

Just saw this... Some folks from Tesla's energy research have started a company to build microreactors.

Radiant Nuclear (https://www.radiantnuclear.com/)
Marketwatch's interview with Radiant CEO Doug Bernauer

DB: ...We use a meltdown-proof TRISO fuel, consisting of poppy seed-sized capsules surrounding tiny grains of fuel.  These particles can’t melt, and if they were dropped on the ground, they could be easily scooped up. We also use helium coolant, which uniquely doesn’t become radioactive. A helium leak would be insignificant, while the existing water-cooled reactors and new molten salt reactor leaks would both be hazardous and with potential to contaminate the ground.

- Developing 'Kaleidos', a 1.2 MW fission reactor. (Claim: Enough power for about 1,000 homes)
- Targeting applications that are, "Any off-grid location, especially in cold regions"
- Expect to bring product to market in 2028.

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#412 2021-12-06 19:32:03

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,054

Re: Nuclear power is safe

For daGeck0 re #411

Thanks for that helpful post!

I checked with FluxBB and you are the first to report the "Kaleidos" concept.  2028 is a ways off, but the arrival of production systems may coincide with great need.

(th)

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#413 2021-12-06 19:41:17

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,054

Re: Nuclear power is safe

For kbd512 re Post #410

Thanks again for your help with the calculations.

kbd512

There's a conservative / Republican gubernatorial candidate for the State of Arizona, named Kari Lake, who may be amenable to using nuclear power to desalinate water for her state.

You may have allowed the memory to fade, but (I think (If ** my ** memory is holding)) that you provided guidance leading away from politics when we first started this initiative. 

In any case, the gent I'm working with evaluated a number of possible recipients for the proposal, and in the end, chose a non-political agency that is dedicated to providing water to the agricultural community through advocacy.  In other words, if I understand the situation  correctly, the agency is set up to work with politicians on behalf of their clients.  What I suspect is likely is that the agency is limited in engineering knowledge, so this communication will be asking them to move out of their comfort zone. 

If the situation in the Western US were not so serious, I would not expect even the slightest chance of success with the initiative.  However, the time may be right for this, and the messenger may be a good fit.  I'll let everyone know if anything comes of this.

I've told the gent who's taken this on that I will not hesitate to ask for more assistance from the Mars Society if there is a request.

(th)

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#414 2021-12-06 19:47:26

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,798

Re: Nuclear power is safe

Good to see daGeck0 has come back...

The encapsulated grains depending on the size is similar to the pebble reactor in that the encapsulation serves as the conduction and isolation to the material being separated such to keep it from getting to hot.

None polluting and no core melt down should make it a seller.

The term microreactors is a grossly over statement to what its capable of since in all other power development systems micro means under 10kw and under systems.

Microreactors are compact reactors that will be small enough to transport by truck and could help solve energy challenges in a number of areas.

https://www.powermag.com/former-spacex- … roreactor/

https://www.morningstar.com/news/market … r-reactors

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#415 2021-12-07 11:58:47

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,054

Re: Nuclear power is safe

This is a follow up to post #413

The gent working on the Phoenix Water proposal in Arizona sent a carefully written email to an agency that works with the agricultural community there.  He received a reply back the next day, from (I understand) an attorney who is in a leadership position at the agency.  Because of the careful structure of the inquiry, the response was almost perfect from my perspective.

The attorney revealed knowledge of the state of affairs, matching the research the Arizona citizen had already done, and added new insight for evaluation.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: This is ** not ** a technical problem.  This ** is ** a social problem of bewildering complexity.

The only constant, and the force that keeps me going, is the knowledge that atomic power yields on the order of 1,000,000 more energy than the equivalent mass using chemical energy.  Worry about costs will (or certainly ** should **) fade into insignificance when all that energy is harnessed efficiently, effectively and safely.

The ** first ** worry about costs was new to me (but of course not to the Arizona gent) ... the cost of water for agriculture needs to be under $2000 per acre foot.

My expectation is that as water from the Colorado (and other existing rivers) dries up, the value of fresh water will increase, until it cannot be afforded at all for agricultural use. At ** that ** point, the cost of produce will either increase or the supply will shift overseas, or it will disappear.

On the other hand, the proposal I'm pitching is to consume ** all ** the intake from the Sea of Cortez, and find a market for ** every ** molecule that is extracted, or separate atoms as needed to achieve market value.  Atomic power, distributed efficiently, effectively and safely over the entire suite of outputs ** should ** yield a net income sufficient to provide a modest return on the initial investment.

The attorney also mentioned the question of financing a multi-billion dollar venture.  That is a valid question, of course.  My understanding is that on Earth there now exist several entities that could underwrite even a 9 billion dollar venture.

However, I would expect this particular venture to start at a much lower investment level, since the Arizona gent is interested in using small reactors that are coming along now, instead of the albatross of yesteryear.

(th)

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#416 2021-12-07 20:23:22

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,798

Re: Nuclear power is safe

seems we are making lots of head way with open concepts to come up with solutions to problems.

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#417 2021-12-08 07:34:16

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,054

Re: Nuclear power is safe

For SpaceNut re #416

Thanks for keeping an eye on developments.

This is high stakes poker and the players are lightweights in an arena full of heavy weights.

It is true that "our" side has a Straight Flush, but the key is finding a dealer who will recognize it, at a table where our money is accepted.

I just "discovered" another benefit of the current proposal .... apparently there is carbon stored in the ocean, and while there isn't much compared to water and salt, whatever there is can be captured by the process we are considering. 

(th)

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#418 2021-12-08 09:16:45

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 2,225

Re: Nuclear power is safe

Nuscale appear to be the most promising near term prospect for the nuclear steam supply system.  The small modular PWR units are small enough to actually ship without onsite fabrication.  This allows more rapid construction and also allows power to be increased incrementally as demand for desalination activities increase.  We have discussed dumping waste heat into brine evaporation ponds, so the units will not need cooling towers, which are expensive.  The salt is something you can sell.  There is always a ready market for it.

Desalination is still relatively expensive.  This is driven by the capital cost of the plant and the cost of electricity.  There are a number of angles that need to be pursued in conjunction.  Firstly, the state needs to examine how water is used and pursue efficiency measures to reduce demand.  This may include changing agricultural practices and crops.  Secondly, water should be recycled where possible.  Grey water can be filtered in settling tanks and used to water crops.  Black water may also be usable, following treatment in an anaerobic digester.  These measures may be cheaper initially than desalination of water.  But regardless, they allow increased economic value per unit of water and therefore make the cost of desalination more affordable.

The final angle is scale economy.  A large number of identical PWRs and desalination units on a single site, can share experienced labour and site services.  By providing a continuous demand for new nuclear units within the state as new power demand is added, an experienced workforce can be nurtured.  After a few initial projects, construction difficulties will be ironed out and the workforce will be capable of building units rapidly at much lower individual capital cost.  A steady demand for new units will allow experienced supply chains to be established nearby.  Ultimately, the state could become the base for small modular PWR construction in the US and able to export units to other states.  Hence, what begins as a local desalination project could have long-term side benefits.


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#419 2021-12-08 10:13:03

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,054

Re: Nuclear power is safe

For Calliban re #418

Thank you for your thoughtful (and helpful) addition to the topic!

While the earlier part of your post is helpful on it's own, the closing paragraph contains the nugget of a vision that ** should ** inspire folks in Arizona. 

With your permission assumed, I just decided to include that paragraph in an opening message to the attorney who replied to the site leader in Phoenix.

There is almost ** no ** possibility whatsoever that anyone would think along these lines without the presence of the Mars Society.

As a first draft of a possible approach, I am thinking along these lines:

Begin Draft:

The Mars Society has been thinking about the problem and challenges of settling Mars for some time.  There is a significant body of work already accumulated, and more studies and experiments are in process.

The challenge of supplying fresh water to Phoenix from the Sea of Cortez is of small scale, compared to the problem of supplying fresh water for a city of 1,000,000 people on Mars.

The Sea of Cortez has water that is mixed with a small proportion of soluble matter.  The regolith of Mars is thought to contain water mixed with a high proportion of soluble material.

The solutions almost universally proposed for delivery of fresh water on Mars depend upon generous supply of atomic power.

The solution proposed for supply of fresh water for Phoenix derived from the Sea of Cortez also depends upon a generous supply of atomic power.

End of Draft.

I have been invited to prepare a communication to the attorney who replied to the site leader in Phoenix.

I get one shot at this.  Fortunately, I feel well supported by members of the forum.  Thanks!

(th)

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#420 2021-12-11 09:51:35

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,054

Re: Nuclear power is safe

https://www.oregonlive.com/business/202 … -says.html

NuScale is based on technology developed at Oregon State beginning in 2002. The company’s modular design, which it named VOYGR this month, is engineered to give utilities the option of building a small, relatively inexpensive plant, or to scale up with several modules to build a large facility.

NuScale says its design enables plants to shut down on their own if they lose power in a disaster, which the company says makes them safer than conventional designs.

NuScale employs 450, including 23 at its Portland headquarters and nearly 300 in Corvallis. Many employees are working remotely during the pandemic.

(th)

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#421 2021-12-16 21:57:10

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 4,782

Re: Nuclear power is safe

NASA Is Soliciting Plans for an Impossibly Small Lunar Nuclear Reactor

https://www.popularmechanics.com/scienc … r-reactor/

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#422 2021-12-21 03:36:10

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 4,782

Re: Nuclear power is safe

The Russians and Chinese also seem to have plans for Nuclear Power in SpaceTravel

China powers up fourth-generation nuclear reactor in steady zero-carbon push
https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science … teady-zero

NASA asking for fission power design concepts for Moon missions
https://www.spaceflightinsider.com/miss … -missions/

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#423 2021-12-21 11:12:51

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,054

Re: Nuclear power is safe

This is a followup to Mars_B4_Moon Post #422

It is another view of the new fourth-generation nuclear plant that just came online in China .... 200 MW and (about) 10 years to develop ...

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/chin … 35116.html

China is Home to World's First Small Modular Nuclear Reactor
Bloomberg News
Mon, December 20, 2021, 11:14 PM
(Bloomberg) -- China continues to stake its claim as the world’s biggest proponent of new nuclear energy technology, connecting its first small modular reactor to the power grid.


China Huaneng Group Co.’s 200-megawatt unit 1 reactor at Shidao Bay is now feeding power to the grid in Shandong province, the China Nuclear Energy Association said in a WeChat post. A second reactor is undergoing tests before being connected and putting the plant into full commercial operations in the middle of next year.

The plant is the world’s first pebble-bed modular high-temperature gas-cooled reactor, heating up helium instead of water to produce power. It’s a so-called fourth generation reactor, designed to shut down passively if something goes wrong -- in contrast to active systems that may not be able to trigger safety measures if power fails, which is what happened at the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan a decade ago.

No country in the world is investing in nuclear power like China, which is expected to pour as much as $440 billion into new plants over the next decade and a half and overtake the U.S. as the top generator of nuclear electricity.

At 200 megawatts, the small module reactors -- or SMRs -- are about one-fifth the size of China’s first homegrown reactor design, known as Hualong One. It’s that size, and the flexibility and cost savings it promises, that have nuclear experts most excited about SMRs. The U.S., U.K. and Russia are also in advanced stages of manufacturing the technology, according to Fitch Solutions.

In a future electricity system dominated by wind and solar generation, smaller reactors will be better placed than the behemoths of the past to balance out the intermittency of renewable energy sources, according to Wood Mackenzie Ltd. And because of their size and safety features, they can be built at a central facility and delivered to where the generation is needed, potentially allowing for economies of scale to develop to bring down construction costs.

“SMRs should be less costly to build and operate, faster to implement and have shorter shutdown times during refueling than traditional nuclear plants,” Jefferies analyst Bolor Enkhbaatar said in a Dec. 20 research note.

If the technology develops, they could even be dropped into the boilers of existing coal power plants, turning the world’s biggest polluters into clean energy sources, according to the World Nuclear Association.

There’s still a long way to go to reach that point. For reactors to be cheap, they need to be built quickly, and it’s taken Huaneng nearly a decade to complete the Shidao Bay project. The final price tag of the project hasn’t been disclosed.

Still, the power coursing through Shandong this morning is another piece of evidence that China’s bet on nuclear power is paying off.

Today’s Events

(th)

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#424 2021-12-21 11:18:37

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,798

Re: Nuclear power is safe

I did a search for pebble reactors and found we have been talking for quite some time in fact 2004 as to not only safety but the means to make them small.

Ultimate power source? - Pebble-bed reactors

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#425 2021-12-21 11:30:29

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 12,054

Re: Nuclear power is safe

This is for Calliban .... during the most recent Zoom meeting, propulsion for the Large Ship received a significant block of time.  If you are interested you can ask SpaceNut to ask Mars Society for a link.  However, the request I am posting now arises from my distillation of the discussion ...

Due to mass requirements for Large Ship as laid down by RobertDyck, atomic (fission/fusion/hybrid) is going be needed.

We are talking about a Queen Mary class vessel in Mars/Earth trade, and we are living in the age of sail.  We can barely lift ** anything ** to orbit using chemical power, and our (human) capabilities in Solar System travel will be regarded as primitive in the future, exciting and advanced as they seem to us.

In a recent post (or several) you talked about a hybrid propulsion system of some kind ... By any chance, can you develop that further so it might be included as a reference in RobertDyck's talk to the National Space Society on March 12th?

From my recollection of your post(s) it might be possible to combine the primitive fusion / fission capabilities we (humans) have today, to create a sustained thrust sufficient to put Large Ship into motion.  Large Ship might well need to be given a chemical tug push to get out of the LEO environment quickly, but it might well be able to continue on it's way and to accelerate/decelerate at Mars using non-chemical propulsion.

kbd512 is (apparently) going to thoroughly explore the potential of large solar collectors and ion propulsion.

What you are doing is NOT that. 

(th)

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